Tomorrow (12/07) CSU will issue its initial outlook for the 2007 tropical Atlantic hurricane season so its time to examine the possibilities for next year.
The 2006 season was dominated by uncommonly high wind shear in the tropical Atlantic and by a late El Nino that caused an early end to the season. On the 'plus' side, the wind shear should be less of an influence - it would be unusual for such high levels of shear to continue into next season. On the 'minus' side, the latest ENSO outlook issued yesterday (12/05) continues a robust El Nino through next April with a slow weakening in May (and probably June).
Lower wind shear in the basin would normally suggest the likelyhood of higher storm activity, however, this factor is counterbalanced by an El Nino that would suppress activity - at least until August. In fact, if the ENSO forecast verifies, the 2007 season may not get very active until mid September.
With an early start to winter in North America, it would not be unusual to expect an early storm next year, but I think that the vigorous El Nino will make an early season storm less likely in 2007. The upcoming season will probably be slow to get underway, but if ENSO-neutral conditions exist by July, September and October could be quite active in 2007.
My initial outlook for 2007 is for 11 named storms, with 6 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes and a monthly distribution as follows: May/June - 0, July - 1, August - 2, September - 4, October - 3, and November - 1.
I'll take another look at this in April (in the Storm Forum) and examine some analog years at that time.
TSR 2007 Initial Forecast Issued on 12/07: 16/9/4
CSU 2007 Initial Forecast Issued on 12/08: 14/7/3